Grooming the Runway


A Cat Challenger tracks across the Ross Ice Shelf in preparations for opening the Williams Field runway near McMurdo Station Antarctica.

A Cat Challenger tracks across the Ross Ice Shelf in preparations for opening the Williams Field runway near McMurdo Station Antarctica.

I have been to small airports where you have to walk out on the tarmac to get to the plane. I have been to airports where you have to hop on a train to reach you plane. I have been to airports that board planes on the water. I have even been on planes where there was no airport at all. But this aerodrome, must be groomed before the planes can ski in. This is the Williams field aerodrome which is located on a little bit of snow, about 8m, over about 80m of ice, that is over 550m of the southern ocean.

It takes a small fleet of these Challengers to prepare the runway and apron, and a crew of crazy people that call this place home for the austral summer. All Season All Terrain is going dip into life on ice. The culture, the weather, the life, and history of the southernmost continent. Maybe after this, I’ll go somewhere warm… But probably not for long.

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